It’s ok to say sorry

As a leader you won’t always get thing right. Because no matter which business school you went to, or how amazing people say you are, you’re still human. And when things go wrong, when you screw things up, when you make a mess, it is absolutely ok to say sorry.

Rather than being a weakness, apologising is both a strength and a means of asserting control. It demonstrates recognition and understanding of the situation and a desire to move on and progress.

The number of times I’ve heard teams, or employees complain along the lines of, “they know they’ve screwed up, but they’ve never even said sorry. That is all it would take”. Most people can accept that leaders get things wrong, they can’t accept that they’re too big to need to apologise.

That’s not to say that simply muttering the word, “sorry” can get you out of any situation, there is an authenticity and humility that needs to comes with it.  We’re great at sniffing out a contrived response.

Recognising when you’ve fallen short, acknowledging, apologising and rectifying are critical steps in building real trust with the people who you lead. They’re also hugely important in your development and personal growth.

We talk a lot about engagement levels, happiness at work, productivity and health and wellbeing. Whilst I have no empirical evidence to back it up, I can’t help feeling that humble, respectful leadership would be a vital ingredient to success.

Tell me more, tell me more…..

I’m interested in who you are.

Not how you come across.

I think that takes a lot.

To look beyond the presentation and understand the person beneath. So much of our lives work on the superficial and we create the back story in our minds that justifies our initial perspectives.

You’re…

He is…

She is…

I am…

With our 1% of perspective we create 100% of knowledge.

Judgmental?

Or searching for understanding?

What would happen if we gave a little more of ourselves? If we invested a little more in helping people to understand us rather than complaining that they don’t?

What would happen if you risked a little more? If you expressed a little more? If you lived a little more?

How much do the people about you know about you? What makes you laugh? Where you’re ticklish? What makes you sad? What gets you up in the morning?

Would that make you a lesser person?

If people knowing more about you makes you more vulnerable, doesn’t it also make you more likeable?

Would you rather be liked for something you aren’t.

Or disliked for something you are?